IX. E. The Post-Tenure Review

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  • Amended by Faculty Approval, February 5, 2014
  • Altered by Faculty action to change to a six-year review¬†cycle: Approved by Faculty February 2008.

Overview: Faculty members who achieve tenure at Rhodes College continue to develop as effective teachers and active scholars and as members who support in their service work the educational mission of the College. Tenured associate professors have a post-tenure review every six years, with a mid-period update at the third year. Tenured full professors have a post-promotion review every six years. The objective of these reviews is to provide opportunities for reflection and feedback on the tenured faculty member’s continued growth in teaching, scholarship, and service, and to provide a framework for discussions of long-term career planning, including, in the case of associate professors, promotion to professor.

Excellence as defined in Section VIII of the College Handbook remains the benchmark for tenured faculty. Excellence in the post-tenure period entails:

  • A level of teaching effectiveness that maintains or exceeds the excellence required for tenure;
  • Continued scholarly achievement, demonstrated by activities and outcomes appropriate for a recognized scholar in the field;
  • Sustained and effective academic citizenship commensurate with level of experience.

The process for post-tenure review: During the first full academic year of service following the receipt of tenure, the faculty member prepares a non-binding prospectus of professional development for the next six years. This prospectus is written in consultation with the department chair and filed with the office of the Dean of the Faculty. The prospectus addresses all three areas of evaluation. At six-year intervals thereafter until promotion to the rank of professor, the faculty member prepares a two-part professional development document, consisting of a reflection on the faculty member’s growth in teaching, scholarship, and service over the previous six-year period, and a prospectus for the next six years. The professional development document provides a framework for a review of the faculty member’s professional growth.

In early January the faculty member provides to the department chair a portfolio containing:

  • The professional development document
  • A current curriculum vitae that includes
    • All scholarly or creative activity
    • Courses taught
    • Service to the College and the profession.
  • Representative samples of course syllabi, exams, and assignments for courses taught during the previous six-year period, a list of any additional any additional teaching (Directed Inquiries, undergraduate research, honors research, etc.), and a list of any new courses taught.
  • Student evaluations from classes taught during the previous six-year period. Tenured faculty are required to have student evaluations conducted in one course each semester, selected in consultation with the department chair to make sure that all types of teaching performed by the faculty member are represented in the review.

In addition to the portfolio, the department chair reviews final grades given for all courses taught by the faculty member during the previous six-year period. This information is provided by the Registrar’s Office.

The department chair meets with the faculty member to discuss the professional development document and the faculty member’s progress toward achieving career goals. The department chair then writes an assessment of the faculty member’s professional growth which is sent to the Dean of the Faculty, usually late in January. The Dean or a designated Associate Dean and the department chair meet in mid-February to discuss points of agreement and disagreement in the assessment. The Dean or designated Associate Dean conveys in writing the results of these discussions to the faculty member being evaluated, with a copy to the department chair. The faculty member is welcome to meet with the Dean or Associate Dean, if desired, to discuss the outcome of the review; the department chair may be invited to this meeting at the discretion of the Dean or Associate Dean.

In the third year of the post-tenure review cycle, the faculty member prepares an update of the professional development document, indicating progress to date as well as any changes or updates to the prospectus. The faculty member presents this update and a current curriculum vitae to the department chair. The department chair also reviews whatever evidence of effective teaching seems appropriate to insure that the faculty member is continuing to meet the College’s standards of excellence in teaching. The faculty member and the department chair meet to discuss the update along with any issues that may have arisen concerning teaching. The department chair then sends a brief statement to the Dean of the Faculty summarizing the outcome of that conversation. In the event that there are issues that appear to demand attention, the Dean may request a meeting with the department chair and/or the faculty member.

The process for post-promotion review: At six-year intervals after promotion to the rank of professor, the faculty member prepares a professional development document, consisting of a reflection on the faculty member’s growth in teaching, scholarship, and service over the previous six-year period, and a non-binding prospectus for the next six years. The prospectus may propose shifts in emphasis between scholarship or creative activity and service, as appropriate for the faculty member’s career trajectory. In early January the faculty member provides to the department chair the professional development document and a current curriculum vitae. The department chair meets with the faculty member to discuss the professional development document and the faculty member’s progress toward achieving career goals. The department chair then writes an assessment of the faculty member’s career growth which is sent to the Dean of the Faculty, usually late in January. The Dean or a designated Associate Dean and the department chair meet in mid-February to discuss points of agreement and disagreement in the assessment. The Dean or designated Associate Dean conveys in writing the results of these discussions to the faculty member being evaluated, with a copy to the department chair. The faculty member is welcome to meet with the Dean or Associate Dean, if desired, to discuss the outcome of the review; the department chair may be invited to this meeting at the discretion of the Dean or Associate Dean.

Reviews of department chairs: If the faculty member under review is a department chair, the review normally will be conducted by some other senior member of the department designated by the Dean of the Faculty.

Remediation: In rare and extreme cases, in either the post-tenure review or the post-promotion review, a faculty member may receive an assessment indicating that the faculty member has failed to meet the College’s standards of excellence in one or more areas of evaluation. In such cases, the faculty member will develop, in consultation with the Dean of the Faculty and the department chair, a plan for improvement that addresses the area(s) of deficiency and a timeline for improvement. In accordance with a schedule specified by the timeline, the Dean of the Faculty and the department chair will evaluate the faculty member’s work in removing the deficiency. After two years, if the Dean of the Faculty determines that the faculty member has not shown evidence of improvement in the designated area(s), the salary of the faculty member will continue without increases until the level of achievement is deemed by the Dean to be appropriate; that is, the salary will be frozen at the level of salary in the second year after the review. At the conclusion of the period specified in the timeline, should performance not meet the level of achievement specified in the plan for improvement, the Dean of the Faculty will determine an appropriate response.

At the time of a negative review, the faculty member may request a review of the matter. The Tenure and Promotion Committee will hear the petition from the member of the Faculty, and the Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the Faculty. The Committee’s recommendation will become part of the official record maintained at the College.